Four kilometers southwest of the turnoff for Gorgona is the turnoff for Playa Coronado, an affluent beachside community that is a haven for water sport lovers. A newly built mall and hospital confirms its growing status. The salt-and-pepper beach here is one of the most developed strips of sand along the coast, extremely popular with Panama City denizens on the up and up.
The Road to Bocas Province
On the way to Bocas province in the Talamanca mountain range, this original cloud forest lodge offers a utopian take on jungle living. Only accessed on foot, Lost & Found Lodge is a backpacker community perched on a steep hill facing a gaping mountain panorama.
The mouth of the wide, brown Río Sambú is 1½ hours by boat south of Punta Patiño. Boats pass through spectacular jungle, gliding past traditional Emberá and Wounaan villages. Fortitude is a must. You will have to deal with hours on board under a broiling tropical sun with leaking gasoline cans onboard.
Located 6km before El Guayra, this snoozy village has a protected bay increasingly favored by sailboats voyaging to the San Blás or Cartagena, Colombia. Excursions to the nearby Isla Mamey visit a beautiful beach and surrounding mangroves. To get to Puerto Lindo, take any bus bound for El Guayra.
The Road to Veraguas Province
Heading out to Veraguas Province there are a number of interesting attractions to check out along the way, particularly if you have your own wheels. Twenty-four kilometers east of David, on the northern side of the Interamericana, the enormous Meseta Chorcha (Chorcha Plateau) beguiles photographers.
Just before the Interamericana reaches the coastline, there is a turnoff immediately east of Bejuco, which leads to the tiny sliver of a peninsula known as Punta Chame. The road out to the sea winds past rolling hills before opening up to flat land that consists mainly of shrimp farms and mangroves.
Parque Internacional La Amistad (Wekso)
The 4070-sq-km Parque Internacional La Amistad was established jointly in 1988 by Panama and Costa Rica – hence its name, La Amistad (Friendship). In 1990 La Amistad was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site and later became part of the greater Mesoamerican Biological corridor.
Tired of crowds? Find adventure by hiring a boat to try out these excursions: Cayo Crawl Get lost in these mangrove-dotted channels near Isla Bastimentos. Cayos Zapatillas Set out for these pristine white-sand beaches and virgin forests. Dolphin Bay Spot dolphins frolicking at this densely populated breeding ground.
Playa Las Lajas
With one of the longest beaches of Central America, the 20km palm-fringed Playa Las Lajas seems to stretch forever. The town sits 51km east of David and 13km south of the Interamericana. It gathers serious crowds on the weekends and has started the road to mainstream commercial development. Over the New Year holiday it becomes a crazy, drunken scene.